Douyin is TikTok’s namesake in China. It’s a wildly popular short video app with over 600 million active daily users. That’s half of China’s population.
Unlike TikTok, Douyin has clear e-commerce integration. Douyin users can click links within each short video and complete purchases inside the app. This makes Douyin a potential sales channel, well suited to impulse purchases.
Source: Walk The Chat.
This feature is also complemented by livestream e-commerce, which we’ve covered extensively here.
Douyin’s owner, Bytedance, has formed an e-commerce business unit to oversee its e-commerce businesses unit. This is perhaps the sign of some important changes to e-commerce on Douyin.
So, what might be in store for e-commerce on Douyin? What should you do now to capitalize on the opportunity? Read on to find out!
Douyin Future E-commerce Moves
We predict Douyin’s future e-commerce direction looks something like this:
- A virtual mall built housed within a Douyin mini-program. Mini-programs allow users to access various services without leaving the app. As we imagine it, a virtual mall Douyin would contain various lists and product recommendations. Think of it as a miniature Tmall, housed within Douyin.
- Brand Zones that appear in Douyin’s search results, similar to WeChat and Tmall. Brand zones give brands the opportunity to directly display products and services to consumers that have searched for the brand.
- Official account pages that have “Must Buy” or “Hot Recommendation” lists. This has important implications for branded accounts, as well as Douyin KOL accounts. We think brands and influencers will be able to display “hot products” on their home page well after they post a video containing the product.
- Advanced video-based product recommendations, which were trialed late last year. We expect to see these back with more accurate recommendations and more appealing presentation. This will be complemented by powerful video-based search, another feature trialed last year.
Should you take your brand online on Douyin?
If you’re not on Douyin now, use our below framework to work out whether it’s the right think for your brand at this point in time. You can even get in touch for us to walk you through everything.
What do you do when you are already on Douyin?
If you are on Douyin now, then assess your Douyin game:
- How is your content performing?
- Have you run sales campaigns through the platforms?
- What type of influencers are you working with?
- How do your efforts compare with dairy brands Yili and Mengniu, beverage giants Pepsi and Wang Lao Ji, brewers like Snow and Harbin, conglomerates like Nestle and convenience food brand Kang Shifu?
- Can you learn anything from the efforts of these brands?
The best way to prepare for future of e-commerce on Douyin’s e-commerce future:
- Experiment with livestream e-commerce: Increase livestream frequency with brand-owned accounts or influencers, to test how many fans you can attract to watch your livestream and get a better sense of conversion rates.
- Try e-commerce integrations: Get a sense of whether your short video game is good enough to entice immediate purchase by setting up e-commerce integration on Douyin.
- Increase content output: Douyin’s recommendation algorithm values viral hits, and brands need to balance quality with quantity.
- Learn to partner with small and medium KOLs: instead of aiming for partnering with megastars, brands can work with many small influencers, giving you broader access to fan bases across the country.
- And last but not least… Subscribe to AgencyChina’s newsletter, to learn about the latest developments in Douyin e-commerce.